Posts Tagged ‘Ryerson’

“Social norms has been reset to factory settings”

words written on a wall

I’m not sure what the above words mean or imply but I do know that we’ve all been impacted by Covid in one way or another.  The city seems to be moving along albeit more slowly than usual.  Sections of the city have fared better than others.  In fact, it would be very easy to portray segments of Toronto as being in trouble.

an old man walks up Yonge street past empty shops and a man sleeping in a doorway

Here the road is closed to vehicles for Open Streets (the last Sunday of September).

empty stores on yonge street, with a now leasing sign in the window

a woman walks past an empty store on Yonge street

We are missing events.  All those things that I like to take pictures at and blog about – the parades, the street festivals, and even the protests.  With more people staying at home, no tourists on the streets, and events going virtual, it’s a much quieter city.

below: This was the last weekend of TIFF and you wouldn’t know anything was happening.

a man with earbuds on walks past the TIFF lightbox theatre where a woman in a beige long coat and a black mask is standing by the door

below: In past years, King Street closes for TIFF activities.  This year there was none of that – no crowds jostling for a look at a celebrity or two, no booths selling things.

a round yellow circle around a bench on King Street, part of decorations for Tiff

below: These little “patios” have been carved out of some downtown streets to help restaurants stay open during these COVID days.  It’s a great idea for the warmer months.  Although the city now allows propane heaters on the street, I am not sure how many people are going to want to have dinner outside in December.

sitting on temporary patios on King Street

painting in front of Hey Lucy restaurant on King Street, woman sitting at a table with zebra print top, with a bottle and glass of wine

below: The Royal Alex Theatre is still set up for “Come From Away”

blue Royal Alex theatre on King street, with signs for Come From Away, line of multi coloured Muskoka chairs along the street

below: A nearby restaurant still has its St. Patricks Day green on display.

Happy St. Patricks Day sign in the window of a restaurant

below: Roy Thomson Hall in the foreground with downtown buildings in the background, as seen from Metro Hall.

Roy THomson Hall and downtown buildings as seen from Metro Hall

below: New public art on Adelaide… this is “Dreaming” by Jaume Plensa.   She’s three storeys high and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is dreaming of the days when we didn’t need masks.  How long until someone gives her a mask?

large three storey high white sculpture of a woman's face with her eyes closed, title is Dreaming and the artist is Jaume Plensa

below: Reflections with security guard

reflections of Jaume Plensa's Dreaming in a glass building

below: The steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church

steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church with trees in the foreground and condos in the background . Corner of Simcoe and King streets

below: Mother and daughter cycling together

mother and daughter in orange jackets on bicycles, stopped at a red light

a group of young people sitting at a table outside an A & W restaurant

a Jewish man stands outside a TIm Hortons talking to a woman who is sitting on the sidewalk pan handling. downtown Toronto

below: The cows are still in their pasture, unfazed by the changes around them.

 

cows, public art sculptures, lying on the grass with tall black office tower behind

below: The next two photos were taken while I was standing in among the tall black towers of the Toronto Dominion Centre.  The first view is to the southwest towards the CN Tower.

CN Tower seen between two black towers of TD bank

below: The second view is to the northeast.

below: The Canada Permanent building on Bay street is getting a cleaning.

scaffolding at the front, cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

below: This is one of the Bank of Montreal buildings, also on Bay Street.

Canada Permanent Building on Bay street, with reflections of the building across the street in its large windows at street level

below: Window washers

window washers and reflections, looking through a glass building from back to ftont, escalators down, high ceiling,

below: Pearl Street, looking east.  Old brick buildings in the foreground with their modern counterparts shining in the background.

pearl street in downtown Toronto

below: The west end of Pearl Street.

old red brick building being preserved in downtown Toronto, with newer taller buildings surrounding it

below: I found a person!

a person is sitting on the steps of the staue on University Ave

below: Looking north up University Avenue

University Ave, looking northwest towards the Canada Life building and other tall buildings farther north on that street, trees still with leaves on the boulevard between the lanes of traffic

below: The Shangri-La hotel and Momofuko restaurant with it’s weird sculpture “Rising” by Zhang Huan at street level (also University Ave).  Masses of “peace pigeons” cover the surface.

Shangri La Hotel on University Ave as seen from across the street

in a rooftop garden, with glass building beside and reflections in those windows

below: Looking the other way on University Ave, south past Richmond to Adelaide and beyond.

intersection of King and University Ave in downtown Toronto

below: Preservation of a large brick facade on Adelaide.

construction site, preservation of large brick facade held up by rust coloured metal beams and scaffolding

blue construction fence around a hole at a work site, row of storefronts across the street in the next level and a tall apartment building behind that

construction site in downtown Toronto

below: Waiting for the lights to change

a man in a blue jacket stands in front of a large video screen at Queen and Bay, video of a man in an orange and white kayak is playing

below: Under the heading of “somethings never change”, there are always photoshoots in front of Osgoode Hall.   Presumably this photo or one similar can be found somewhere on instagram?

instagram photoshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: Arranging the veil.

photographer setting up a wedding photshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: With a the pigeon by the Eaton Centre.

windows of H & M store at yonge and Dundas, with femaile mannequins, sitting on the sidewalk in front of them is a man feeding pigeons, another man sits nearby

people walking on Gould Street, past a small yellow building

a folding chair and a small round table set up under a back porch behind a stone building, dark

reflections of a man in the window of a mens clothing store, two suits on display, one gray and one blue.

in the window of the Ryerson bookstore, mannequin wearing yellow Ryerson sweatshirt, dirty window, someone has drawn the picture of a man's face in the dirt

below: Mr. Ryerson keeps changing colour.  Apparently he was more red not that long ago.  Rather than remove the red paint, he was “cleaned up” by painting him this shade of green.  He probably doesn’t realize it but he’s become a controversial figure.  He may have been one of the first to establish public schools but he also played a role in the creation of residential schools for the indigenous population. Because of the latter, there has been some people advocating for the removal of this statue.

statue of Egerton Ryerson at Ryerson University on Gould Street, painted green, with some red paint graffiti as well as red hands

This statue was unveiled in 1889. It stands in front of an ivy covered building that started its life as Toronto’s first teacher’s college (1847).

below: Queen Street West

open sign in red and blue lights in the window of an adult store, beside white mannequin with very small black bikini bottoms and mesh top

below: This yellow birdie, at least in sticker form, may be on the verge of extinction.  An Uber5000 creation that can also be found on several of his murals around the city.

traffic signs on a metal pole along with a yellow uber 5000 birdie sticker
As I write this, the number of Covid cases in Toronto (and all of Ontario) have gone back up.  Although we were hopeful that we were wrong, was there ever any question that things would get worse before they got better?  Are we more complacent?  Maybe.  But let’s hope that we are also wiser this time around.

a man walks through a glass revolving door, reflections,

three masks on display in a store window.  One has a soccer ball pattern, another is pink with little strawberries.  The one in the middle is covered with a jumble of letters of the alphabet

May is CONTACT Photography month in Toronto and like in previous years, some galleries start the month early.  One of these galleries is the Ryerson Image Centre.  This year, in the main gallery they are featuring the work of Shelley Niro, the 2017 winner of the Scotiabank Photography Award.  You may have seen some of her work at the AGO where her shirts series of photos is also on display.   Outside the building, in Devonian Square, there are large colourful abstract images glued onto large rocks.  These are the work of Scott Benesiinaabandan, a Montreal-based artist from the Obishikokaang Anishinabe First Nation.

below: First, the poster/sign at the entrance to the Ryerson Image Centre.  The four images on the left are from Niro’s shirt series of pictures – the full series is shown inside the gallery.  There is also a video from 2003 that features this woman and the T-shirts standing in this location.

4 photos by Shelley Niro, of indigenous woman wearing a white t shirt with words on them, plus aboriginal/original pictures of the artist.

below: A series of three photos framed together titled ‘Mohawk Worker’.  It is one of a series of six triples called ‘This Land is Mime Land’ (Apparently there are 12 in the series, but only 6 are on display here).  Each set in the series has an old sepia toned black and white photo in the center, a casual posed photo on the right (of the same woman in each), and a posed, hand coloured ‘parody’ photo on the left.  In this case, she is dressed in working clothes and a hard hat, but she’s applying lipstick and has a small compact mirror in her left hand.   Other works in this series include,  ‘Love Me Tender’ with the woman dressed as Elvis, and ‘Final Frontier’ with the woman dressed in a Star Trek outfit.

three pictures frames together, on the left is a woman in workmen's clothes and hard hat but putting on lipstick, in the middle is a vintage black and white photo

below: One of another set of pictures.  Hand painted black and white photos of these women posing (hamming it up) for the camera.  They are on the yellow brick road, and like Dorothy on her way to see the Wizard, they are wearing red shoes.  “Red Heels Hord” 1991.   It, like a lot of her work, challenges the stereotypes and cliches of Native American women.

a colourized black and white photo of three women hamming it up for the camera. All wearing red shoes and walking on a yellow sidewalk, beside a metal fence. by Shelley Niro

Shelley Niro was born in 1954 in Niagara Falls NY and grew up on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve near Brantford.  She graduated from OCA and a masters in Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario.

below: Four photos from “Are You My Sister?” 1994.   This is only part (4/12) of the series.  The glass was very reflective so you can see the shirt series that was on the opposite wall.  Like most of her work, the matte has been hand decorated.  In this case, patterns are made with performations in the matte.

four pictures of women, standing, matted in orange, orange tone to the photos, relfections of other photos in the glass, art by Shelley Niro

Scott Benesiinaabandan’s installation, ‘newlandia: debaabaminaagwad’  is in two parts.  First, on the sidewalk in front of the statue of Egerton Ryerson, the man who founded the University, is an image that has been glued to the ground.   Parts of that statue have been used in the making of the image – it’s not too easy to see in this photo, but the top part of the image is the same shape as the top of the statue of Ryerson.  Maybe you can see the purple draped head and the outstretched arm.  It’s like the statue has been draped with cloth and/or pictures.  In fact, the images used to create this were taken from photographs that Benesiinaabandan took of three First Nations flags.

below: The other part of ‘newlandia: debaabaminaagwad’ consists of large images adhere to rocks in the square, taking on the texture of the rocks.

Devonian Square in Toronto, large open area with wading pool (empty at the moment) and large boulders, small trees growing around the edge of the pool, two people walking through the pool area, a woman walking her dog on the sidewalk beside, rocks covered with artwork

rock covered with a digital image, glued on it, outside, trees around

Both of these artist have their own websites:
1.  Scott Benesiinaabandan
2.  Shelley Niro

subtitle: Finding treasures

Hidden behind ivy, on a building at Ryerson University, are three relief sculptures of men in athletic poses.   There’s also a line of trees beside the building that they are on.  No wonder I’ve missed them on previous walks down Nelson Mandela Way.  Today the light was shining on them just the right way .

below: Javelin thrower.  Does his left arm look a little awkward?

on a wall, covered with ivy plant (early spring so no leaves), relief sculpture of a man from the side, about to throw a javelin,

below:  Man with a ball, and covered with ivy vines which was designed in 1962 by Elizabeth Wyn Wood (They are all the work of the same artist?)

on a wall, covered with ivy plant (early spring so no leaves), relief sculpture of a man with legs spread apart, with a ball on his shoulder, arms bent upwards at elbow

below: Lifting weights.

on a wall, covered with ivy plant (early spring so no leaves), relief sculpture of a man with legs spread apart, and holding barbells across his shoulders, weight lifter,

Elizabeth Winifred Wood (1903-1966), also known as Elizabeth Wyn Wood, was born in Orillia.  She graduated from OCA (Ontario College of Art) in 1925.  Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, many new buildings in Toronto were decorated with relief sculptures on their exterior walls.  Although many of these buildings have since been demolished, you can still see some sculptures as you walk around downtown.   By the time that Wyn Wood designed these (and other) sculptures for Ryerson in the early 1960’s, the use of relief sculptures in this context was fading.

The other day I discovered that there is a small gallery on the 3rd floor of Ryerson’s School of Image Arts.  If you want to find it too, it’s in a building that it’s in is attached at the ground floor level to the Ryerson Image Centre on Gould Street.   At the moment, there is a small exhibit of photos by Avard Woolaver.

the back of a man looking at a wall in a gallery, old photos of Toronto

below:  The photos are ones that Woolaver took in Toronto in the late 70s and early 80s.

old photos of Toronto from the 1980s by Avard Woolaver.

below: This photo is one of Woolaver’s – it is looking towards the northwest corner of Spadina and Queen Street West.  For those of us who lived in Toronto at the time, it’s a bit of nostalgia.  Somethings are very familiar – the older TTC buses, the car styles, and a lot of the architecture, for example.   This photo in particular lends itself nicely to the game of ‘Spot the Differences’….. compare this with

photo by Avard Woolaver of Toronto in the 1980s, this view is the north west corner of Queen and Spadina

below: …..this. Here is the same intersection, at a similar angle, last week.   The large brick building is still there but without a billboard.   The poles are no longer wood but they are covered in posters and remnants of posters – so no change there.    The street signs have been updated and there is now a streetcar lane in the middle.   All in all, I was surprised how little had actually changed in 30ish years.

the northwest corner of Queen and Spadina in 2018, pedestrians, buildings, street scene

below: I found this photo online (originally from the Toronto City Archives, 1950?) but before we can play another round of ‘Spot the Differences’, we have to identify these buildings?  Any ideas?

vintage photo of 357, 359, and 361 Yonge street, black and white, 3 storefronts,

below: Here is the same location in the 1980’s (not a photo from the exhibit).  Not too many changes.   The building that housed George Richards Men’s shop, 361 Yonge Street, was replaced by a dull and boring two storey brick building but the other changes were just to the facades and the owners/tenants.   The tavern is still a tavern and the drug store is still a drug store.  The large brown building on the top right that you can only see part of is Ryerson College.   Unfortunately the Wrigleys ghost sign on the taller building on the left has been covered.

357, 359, and 361 Yonge street in the 1980s including the Zanzibar tavern

photo source BuzzBuzzNews online

below: Fast forward another 30 years.  The Zanzibar is all bright lights and dazzle while the building that housed the drug store is now for sale.  Ryerson is now a University and has expanded out to Yonge Street – that’s the large blue building in case you are not familiar with the area.

Yonge stree, easy side, just north of Dundas, about 357, 359 and 361 Yonge Street including the Zanzibar Tavern. The blue glass wall of Ryerson University behind the Zanzibar,

below: If you pull back a bit, and look just a bit farther north on that stretch of Yonge Street, you’ll see that there are many empty buildings

yonge street, between gerrard and dundas, most storefronts are closed and boarded up waiting for redevelopment of that stretch

below: … including what was until recently the XTC clothing company.  It looks like it has gone through a number of ‘renovations’, not all of which were good.  Some traces of its original brick facade can be seen at the top but at street level it is (was?) a mess.

empty two storey building, once was X T C clothing store

 There is a plan to build a 98 storey mixed-use building on this site including just over 900 residential units ranging in size from 520 to 2000 square feet.    It will be the tallest residential building in Canada.   In the promotional material for YSL Residences, as they will be called, is this: “The epitome of luxury living, designed to elevate the fortunate few who will call it home.”

 

below:  Back to Ryerson, also on the 3rd floor of the School of Image Arts, there was a small series of photographs like this one hanging on the wall in the hallway.  There was no sign as to the name of the artist that I could find either on the wall or online.   I quite like the technique and the resulting image.  Two ideas melded into one.  Two time frames in one frame.  Two artistic styles combined to create another.

a photograph on a gallery wall, a hand holding a photo printed on glass in the middle of another photo, superimposed landscapes

If you are interested in Woolaver’s work, you can find more on his blog.

Did you know that we share 50% of our DNA with a banana?  Bananas don’t have DNA that codes for eye colour and we probably don’t any genes that produce yellow peels.   What we share is similar basic biochemistry, such things as DNA replication, cell metabolism, and regulation of cell growth, to name a few.  One thing that you can do with banana DNA is easily extract it.  We all know that cells are too small to see and that DNA is even smaller,  BUT if you mash a whole a banana, you can produce enough DNA to make a small clump.   That was one of the activities at Science Rendezvous this past Saturday.

Two young girls are performing an science experiment using beakers and a graduated cylinder. One of them is pouring liquid into the cylinder while the younger one watches.

Science Rendezvous is science outreach festival that occurs across Canada, a day when science hits the streets.  This year it was May 7th.  In Toronto, there were information booths, demonstrations, and activities by students from Ryerson (at Yonge Dundas Square) and students from U of T (St. George Street).

“There’s no place like GenHome” is a project by Ryerson students to break a Guinness World Record by building the longest DNA model.    DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid,  is a double helix.  Although it is a complex molecule, it can be broken down into components called nucleotides.  Nucleotides consist three parts – deoxyribose which is a sugar molecule, phosphate, and an organic base.  At the risk of being too simplistic (because the chemistry of DNA is way beyond the scope of this blog), the sugar and phosphate of the nucleotides form the backbone of the double helices.  The organic bases are in the space between the two backbones and if they are ordered properly, the bases hold the double helix together.

A couple more things you need to know about DNA.  First, there are four bases, adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G).  And second, bases come in pairs and only certain pairs can exist if the double helix is to form properly.  Adenine has to pair with thymine and cytosine has to pair with guanine, i.e. A with T and C with G and nothing else.

How would you build a DNA model?  The Ryerson University students wanted to get people involved in the project and if you were at Science Rendezvous, you could have become part of their DNA model.

below: Bases need partners and so do you !  Find a partner and take a spin.
Are the two of you A & T or G & C?

A young woman is standing beside a spinner with AT and GC being the possible landing places. She is talking to a couple who have spun and landed on GC

below: Next, have your picture taken with your base letter.

A young woman has her picture taken with a large orange letter A on a blue square.

A few moments later your picture is printed and ready to attach to the DNA model.

below: My partner for the activity adds his G (toe to toe with my C).

People making a DNA model using photos that volunteers have had taken of themselves with one of the letter of DNA. The four letters are A, C, T, and G. They are the nucleosides that make up DNA

I don’t know how long the DNA model is at this point.  I was hoping that there would be some information online but nothing has shown up yet.

Also, If you want to try extracting the DNA from a banana, the instructions are online at numerous sites including Scientific American.  You will need a banana, water, salt, detergent, rubbing alcohol, and a coffee filter.  Have fun!

 

***  a little breather after all that molecular biology ***

below:  At Science Rendezvous they were walking together until she saw my camera and then she tried to get away.  Hmmm…. Mr. Scientist Creature (mutant science rodent?!), maybe she was embarrassed? 🙂

A person dressed in a costume that looks like an animal - squirrel? fox? that is wearing a lab coat. An Asian woman who was walking with him before the photo was taken is shyly turning away, she is also laughing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer in the city – although the summer feels like it’s only just begun!

A cyclist and his bike are sitting at the edge of Lake Ontario, behind the chain fence.  It is evening and the sky is strating to turn pink

Early evening rest at the waterfront

.

Two food trucks are parked on the street.  People are buying food, or sitting on the conrete bench (low wall) that runs parallel to the sidewalk

Ice cream, slushies, hot dogs, chips, poutine….  food trucks on Queen Street in front of City Hall.

.

Two people are standing behind a table that is covered with a red and white checkered table cloth.  The menu is written on a chalk board in front of them.  The last item on the menu is love, and it's cost is free.

Uncle Smoke gives away free love! Pulled pork with beans, corn bread and veg will cost you $10 though!  Pedestrian Sunday, Kensington Market.

.

A man is sitting beside a stroller in the foreground.  Behind him is a pool of water and then a large glass building.   On the wall of the building are black and white images of some famous people including Andy Warhol, JFK, and Albert Einstein

Under the watchful eye of a few famous people – Ryerson Image Centre building.

.

Some people are walking towards the camera as the cross a street including a couple who are holding hands.  He is wearing an orange Tshirt that says Cool story babe, Now Make me a Sandwich.

“Cool Story Babe, Now make me a sandwich.” Any replies ladies?

.

A girl is standing very close to one of the tanks at the aquarium, she has her hands open and on the glass.

hands on at the aquarium

.

Dundas Square with many people sitting on chairs, under red umbrellas, watching a band play on stage

‘Sweet Alibi’ plays at Dundas Square

.

A large group of people, inlcuding many kids, are walking towards Rogers Stadium for a Blue Jays baseball game.  Most of them are wearing blue Blue Jays shirts.

game day, Jays fans

******